The work of California-based photographer Danny Englander is inspired by his sunny surroundings; from the bustling city and its many districts to the pretty harbour and inviting ocean – he is spoilt with an endless supply of subject matter. One thing that really stands out for Englander is the Golden State's native flora, which he loves to photograph and then play around with in Photoshop – transforming pretty petals into works of minimalist yet surreal fine art.
He explains: "Flowers are everywhere in southern California, and it seems there are so many varieties and seasons for them. I love all the different varieties such as lotus flowers, water lilies, and crinum lilies of which there is an abundance here. Balboa Park in San Diego has a really nice lily pond, as well as some amazing gardens to find beautiful flowers. I also like going to the San Diego Botanic Garden, where there are a few lily ponds with some stunning flowers.
"Since I have been editing my photos with minimalist and surrealist styles lately, I realised that my flower images would make perfect subject matter in this realm. That led me to masking out the backgrounds in these flowers in Photoshop, and adding special effects such as reflections, clouds, symmetry, and colour variations.
"I have found that creating layer masks are a bit tricky when it comes to flowers, so the trick is to photograph a flower with a solid colour or plain background. A clear blue sky works well, or simply a solid background colour that differs from the flower itself. It seems that masking has improved over the years in Photoshop, and the latest CC is the most powerful version yet for this. With certain types of images, Photoshop's quick selection tool works wonders for creating a layer mask in short order."